On 29 December 2021, the Government of Montenegro decided to extend its investor citizenship programme for a further 12 months. The programme was officially established by the former DPS-led government in 2018, with an implementation window between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2021 and a cap of 2,000 applications.
In March 2021, the new Montenegrin government had announced that the programme would not be extended beyond 31 December 2021, as it was ‘contrary to EU’s principles’. In its annual report on the candidate country, the European Commission (EC) highlighted that ‘Montenegro should effectively phase-out this investor citizenship scheme’ as a condition for accession. Furthermore, the EC’s 2021 report under the Visa Suspension Mechanism noted that while Montenegro still meets the visa liberalisation benchmarks, in order to maintain a well-managed and secure migration system it was necessary to abolish the programme as soon as possible.
The reason cited for the extension of the programme beyond 31 December 2021 is the ‘Covid pandemic, which has adversely affected the implementation of the programme in the previous period’. The new conditions include a bank guarantee for half of the total investment within a month from filing the application and a further investment of 100,000 euros in the Innovation Fund. The Montenegrin government was not unanimous in its support for the renewal of the investor citizenship scheme. The proposal by the Minister of Economic Development was met with objections from the Ministers of Interior and Foreign Affairs, whose competences include citizenship and European integration, respectively.
From the start of the programme until 25 June 2021, a total of 693 persons had requested the passport of Montenegro through investment, including 284 citizens of Russia, 143 of China, 50 US citizens, and 41 citizens of Lebanon.
To learn more about Montenegro’s citizenship regime check out our country profile pages.